Sometimes marketing works. I was looking at Uniqlo’s website and saw the new Match and Mix Drape Collection.
Suddenly, I really wanted the outfit in the middle. Never mind that I’ve been trying to incorporate more color into my wardrobe. There was a time I only wore dark colors, and before that, a time I only wore three colors — and one of those colors has always, always been black.
I love black for probably many of the same reasons other people do. It hides imperfections (both of the body and of the I-spilled-coffee kinds). It makes you look instantly pulled together somehow. It’s simple and sophisticated.
I just wrote about how I love mix and match collections and felt compelled to check this collection out. Lucky me, at the time there was a online sale for the pants so I put in an order. Then I went into the store and took a look.
Sorry in advance for these fitting room photos. As you now know, I love black — which looks good in person, but makes for boring fitting room photos. It’s not that I’m opposed to the other colors — overall, I think they’re offering a good palette of neutrals here. But the lighter colors didn’t speak to me. I didn’t see the olive green anywhere in the store. I thought about the blue. In person, the fabric for this collection has a slight seen to it (material is polyester). There was something off-putting to me about the sheen. It looks a little cheap. Black looked the least sheeny, and hence the best to me. The fabric is lightweight (but not too thin) and true to its name, it does drape nicely.
First up, the wide leg pants worn with the three-quarter sleeve blouse, and jogger pants worn with camisole. The pants are all supposed to be ankle length, but I’m petite (5′ 3″). So fellow petites, these will be normal length for you. (The inseam on the joggers are 27 1/4″ so if you’re tall, they might actually be too short on you.) The joggers have a comfortable elastic waistband, but there’s still a fly so they’re easy to get into. I think the jogger pants look slimming in person, but the wide leg one wasn’t doing me any favors as a shorty.
Next, I tried the drape wrap skirt with the camisole. On the left, I’m wearing it as styled in the marketing photo — with the top untucked. Meh. I think it makes me look wider than I am. Better to tuck it in and define your waist.
I took home the jogger pants and the three-quarter sleeve blouse (in black of course). As for fit, I went with my usual size. I found them to be true to size.
And then an interesting thing happened. I tried on the jogger pants from my online order and the jogger pants from the brick-and-mortar store and THEY FIT DIFFERENTLY! I was so confused. They looked the same. I examined the tags and they had different SKU numbers. What the what?
I went on the website and saw there were two different jogger pants. One is called “Women Drape Jogger” and the other one is called “Women Drape Jogger Pants.” Um, thanks for clarifying that, Uniqlo.
I finally realized the difference when I read the descriptions. “Women Drape Jogger” look like this:
“Women Drape Jogger Pants” look like this:
See a difference?
OK, here it is: “Women Drape Jogger” is the original model. It has two pleats per leg in front. “Women Drape Jogger Pants” is the updated version. It has only one pleat per leg in front; it also has a higher waist.
While the “Women Drape Jogger Pants” are described as having a slimmer cut, I found that for me the “Women Drape Jogger” originals were actually tighter in the thighs. So, I decided to keep the “Women Drape Jogger Pants.”
What do you think? Does it look like the marketing photo on me? I’m pretty happy with the pants. Pants are usually problematic for me, but I feel like these fit well, look good, and they’re comfy. The “Women Drape Jogger” pants got rave, rave reviews on the Uniqlo website. I think this newer version will too.
So beware: if you’re going to consider pants from this collection, make sure you get both kinds to try on. Count the number of pleats. Also, Uniqlo, you should really give similar items different names. At least number them or something.
UPDATE 4/27/17: Well, Uniqlo has updated the names of the pants on their website, but not in any helpful way. Now they have the same name. Both pants are called “Women Drape Jogger Pants.” Also, there are new colors for the one-pleat ones: a light brown and a light gray. I tried them and unfortunately, with these lighter color pants you can see the outline of the back pockets. Not a good look. 🙁
UPDATE 9/24/17: The Women Drape Jogger Pants (with one pleat) have been updated for fall with new dark colors: wine red and navy.
UPDATE 12/10/17 – I’m trying to be better about making ethical shopping choices, so I’m updating posts with info about where and how things were made. These clothes are made in China out of polyester, which is petroleum-based, not biodegradable, and pollutes our oceans. Uniqlo has said it is putting better processes in place after it was cited for abusive practices in 2016, so it does appear to be making an effort.